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BMC Complement Altern Med. 2010 Jun 18;10:28. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-10-28.

Laughter and humor as complementary and alternative medicines for dementia patients.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita, Japan. mtakeda@psy.med.osaka-u.ac.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The number of dementia patients has increased worldwide, with an estimated 13.7 million dementia patients in the Asia Pacific region alone. This number is expected to increase to 64.6 million by the year 2050.

DISCUSSION:

As a result of advances in research, there several pharmacological therapies available for the treatment of dementia patients. However, current treatments do not suppress the disease process and cannot prevent dementia, and it will be some time before these goals are realized. In the meantime, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is an important aspect in the treatment of dementia patients to improve their quality of life throughout the long course of the disease. Considering the individuality of dementia patients, applicability of laughter and humor therapy is discussed. Even though there are many things that need to be elucidated regarding the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of laughter and humor, both may be good CAM for dementia patients if they are applied carefully and properly.

SUMMARY:

In this debate article, the physiological basis and actual application of laughter and humor in the treatment of dementia patients are presented for discussion on the applicability to dementia patients.

PMID:
20565815
PMCID:
PMC2896339
DOI:
10.1186/1472-6882-10-28
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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